Ohioans should thank their veterans by passing Issue 1
Written by David C. Miller, Editor   
Friday, 30 October 2009 09:48
Tuesday's election offers Ohio voters a rare opportunity to thank Ohioans who are veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. Ohioans can say thanks by voting for Issue 1 to provide up to $1,000 to those veterans.
Issue 1 would also pay $5,000 to families of soldiers killed, missing in action or held captive during those three wars.
Another category of compensation would pay up to $500 to veterans who served domestically or in the foreign service during the wars.
Some have criticized the dollar amounts as being too small. They feel Ohio should do much more for its veterans. They should not confuse the role of the federal government and its Veterans Administration with the intent of Issue 1.
As it is, Issue 1 requires a significant total investment on the part of Ohioans, especially at a time when the state government is making drastic cuts in the budgets of many state agencies. Issue 1 allows the state to issue up to $200 million of bonds by Dec. 31, 2013, to underwrite the additional payments.
Ohio has done similar compensation before to veterans of both World Wars and the Vietnam and Korean wars.
Now is not the time to end that tradition, not with an all-volunteer military, with virtually all of the soldiers now serving having enlisted or re-enlisted since the wars began. They knew the risks ahead of them, and the American death toll this past week tragically demonstrated the increasing dangers that our troops now face day-in, day-out in Afghanistan.  
Polls have shown decreasing public support of the war in Afghanistan, but patriotism, and not politics, should guide Ohioans when they cast their ballots on Tuesday.
Providing additional compensation would not have the depth of meaning to veterans and their families had it simply been a decision by Ohio's General Assembly. It would have been seen as smart politics on the part of the legislators.
To have a majority of Ohio voters approve the issue, however, would be a sincere thank you to the brave soldiers who have volunteered to serve and risk their lives on behalf of our country.
They have been there for us. Tuesday is our time to be there for them - with our votes.
- David C. Miller, Editor

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